Son-Jara: The Mande Epic Performance by Jeli Fa-Digi SisokoCD-Audio African Epic Language: English / Mandingo
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- Publisher: Indiana University Press
- Format: CD-Audio | 352 pages
- Language: English / Mandingo
- Dimensions: 132mm x 147mm x 10mm | 104g
- Publication date: 15 February 2004
- Publication City/Country: Bloomington, IN
- ISBN 10: 0253343364
- ISBN 13: 9780253343369
- Edition: Annotated
- Edition statement: annotated edition
- Illustrations note: 6ill.
The epic of "Son-Jara" (also known as Sunjata or Sundiata) celebrates the exploits of the legendary founder of the Empire of Old Mali and is still widely recited among Mandekan-speaking peoples of West Africa today. As performed by griots, or professional bards, it embodies deeply rooted aspects of Mande cosmology and worldview. This edition of the epic presents the full, linear Mandekan text side by side with John William Johnson's important English translation. Fully annotated and explained, the text provides historical and contextual frameworks for understanding this African epic. A complete recitation of the epic by Jeli fa-Digi Sisoko recorded in the town of Kita, Mali, is sold separately.This powerful text and inspiring performance show why the epic of "Son-Jara" has taken its place among the world's greatest epics. John William Johnson is Associate Professor of Folklore and African Studies at Indiana University. He is co-author (with Thomas A. Hale and Stephen Belcher) of "Oral Epics from Africa" (IUP, 1997). Jeli fa-Digi Sisoko was a griot from Kita, Mali.
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Praise for previous editions: "... a major addition to the literature on oral traditions and ... a useful commentary on the conceptions and uses of various spiritual powers in Mande society." Journal of Religion in Africa